Team Hess coming to life early in the morning on Day 2.
Some of us were still digesting the excellent barbecue dinner served out of this monster.
Adios La Grange.
It is usually pretty chilly as we roll over the Day 2 start line. This gentleman never fails to lift the spirits. He occupies the same spot every year, about 12 km / 7.5 mi from La Grange. It is worth the time to stop to listen to him play for a while.
Then it is out on to the flatlands to Texas.
The decision to be made at the start of Day Two is whether to take the Bechtel Challenge Route or the Pfizer Lunch Express. The Bechtel Challenge takes riders through Buescher State Park and Bastrop State Park. The Challenge adds about 17 km / 11 mi to the ride but it was well worth doing. The road winds through scenic loblolly pine woodland that is 18,000 years old.
This was the view in 2011.
Sadly Bastrop State Park and the surrounding pine forest were the scenes of a devastating wildfire in September and October 2011. This was one of the most destructive single wildfires in Texas history. Bastrop State Park suffered significant damage affecting 96% of the park.
The fire damage was so significant that the Challenge route was closed in 2012. Bastrop State Park was rideable again in 2013. Naturally, there was a huge amount of damage to the loblolly pines and other trees and vegetation in the parks. These scars will remain for years to come.
Buescher Lake looked nice though.
My West End friends and I skipped the pampering from the Hess volunteers at the lunch stop in Bastrop. We did the usual for the West End crew. Since my first MS150 in 2010, we stopped at the Bastrop Whataburger for a burger, fries and a milkshake.
Support and entertainment from folks along the route continued on Day 2.
We even had dancers welcoming us to one of the rest stops.
We regroup at the Austin Lodge 1735 Loyal Order of Moose so that we can ride together to the finish.
The crowds swell as we approach the Texas State Capitol building.
One last corner and there is the finish.
There is the customary “glory shot” in front of the State Capitol to mark the finish of the BP MS150.
Tom and I were in our civvies for the 2016 photograph because Day 2 that year was cancelled due to rain. We were bused from La Grange to Austin.
BP was the title sponsor from 2001 to 2019. This ride is now called the Texas MS150. Like many other sporting events, the 2020 Texas MS150 has been affected by COVID-19. The ride is postponed to September 26th. It will be a one-day event with the choice of three routes: 44km / 27mi, 66km / 41mi and 97km / 60mi, all starting and ending at Texas A&M Kyle Field Plaza in College Station.